There is limited literature available on ways mothers can make it easier for them to get back to work post maternity leave. Juggling work and motherhood can be trying and tricky ,to say the least. Add to this limited well informed sound advice, and you have a taxing situation on your hands.
The dearth of dialogue on the topic from mothers struggling with such problems can be attributed to the lack of time to indulge in such dialogue. While juggling with job and baby, mothers aren’t left with the energy or time to discuss the transition they are facing.
When new parents go back to work, they need to decide upon a split between their time for both the important jobs at hand. Some may go for a 50-50 split between work and parenthood, while some may want to devote 80% of their time to looking after their kid and only 20% to work. New parents can only know what they want when they are faced with such a situation. The work arrangements will then have to be adjusted accordingly.
A supportive peer group, and good planning during the maternity leave will go a long way. You need to find the right nanny, figure out breast milk pumping hacks, and tackle separation anxiety. The peer group can help steer you in the right direction, and the maternity leave can be well spent figuring out these logistics.
Fathers can also use their paternity leave to contribute the family unit in this time of transition. Not only will this help them engage better as a father, but also as a partner. They can seek out supportive communities for good advice. Being vocal about their experiences may entail going against the grain. This will help them create a strong emotional connection with the mother and the child in this important phase of their lives.
Have a schedule. Factor in a mindful split of responsibilities between you and your partner and organise your day in a balanced manner. This will prevent an unhealthy imbalance of strain and keep you going. Including yoga and meditation can keep your mind rejuvenated through the sleepless nights and exhausting days. Work out your time at the office such that you don’t need to take work back home. Disengagement from the job is crucial to ensuring 100% focus on the kids at home.
Be honest about your emotions. Compartmentalise your feelings but don’t bottle them in. It is a difficult time, and with all the hormones going crazy in your system, you’re bound to experience extreme emotions. Do not ignore them. Nurse your hurt and seek counsel for confusing sentiments.
Motherhood is a profound experience. Not only have you created a life, but are responsible for nurturing that little human being. This in addition to your life that you need to keep on track while doing the most difficult and important task of all, raising a child. Finding the right balance can be tricky, but given the right tools, success can be yours.